22 December, 2008


December 22, 2008

I’ve finally “D” compressed from the huge Panther watching party at Phil’s expansive digs. A big thank you to Phil and John and Laurie for all of their work and “D”edication in making that a fantastic afternoon and evening, and the fun and fellowship was definitely comparable to the fun and fellowship in the Cedar Street lot. And the mustard-base pork was “D”lectible! Of course, we were all there for the BIG GAME. Those of you who saw it know what you saw. This, in the light of sports entertainment was no “D”issappointment- But if you’re a Panther fan, odds are you are a little “D”isconcerted. I know I am. By now, I “D” duct, you get a little ideer of where I’m going with this “D”iscourse.

It’s all about the “D”.

“D” as in Deficit. Defensive Deficit.

“D” as in Derrick Ward.

And “D” is the grade I’d give the “D”-fence of the Panthers in the fourth quarter. All I’ve heard today is how bad we were missing that humongoid slab of beef we call Maake Keomoauteu, and yes, I buy that. But SOMEONE, SOMEONE has to make more plays “D” fensively, whether it be a linebacker, someone from the “D” fensive backfield and MOST “D”efinitely from the “D” line. At this point, I “D” duct that this “D” line is the “D” etriment of the team. Oh, yeah, we sacked Eli three times. Great. Did we stop “D”errick Ward or the completions for first down? Uh, that would be “NO”. BUT! Even while I “D”ish out some “D”grading comments about the really painful loss about last night’s game, I have to “D”igress from that “D”iatribe.

“D” also goes with “D”angelo Williams. ‘Nuff said.

“D” also goes with “D”elhomme. No turnovers, and a great game manager in games like this. Again, when the Carolina Panthers score 28 points, and all on the ground, that would usually indicate a win. But OH, for the fickle musings of a capricious karma that suddenly pushed a line drive Kasay kick left, we would be rejoicing. As Han Solo blew the adversaries out of Luke Skywalker’s flight path on the way to “D”stroying the “D”eath Star, so did the loving touch of a benevolent karma give wind to the wings of the Balty-Moore Ravens, and power to the bolts of the San “D”iego Chargers, and the door lay wide open for Foxy and Co. to approach the target, release the metaphysical proton torpedo, and down the Giants’ exhaust port it goes.

But she became contrite, as she always does. She fumbled Adrian Peterson’s carries, and miscued Tavaris Jackson’s snaps as the $&*#%^#@_$%+&# Duckies managed to beat the Vikings at home. Bad, Bad, karma!
(And, oh yes, “D” is for the “D”amn “D”uckies, too!) But for us, it seemed she removed the gauntlets, and stroked us yet again with the loving touch of benevolence for 59.56 minutes of last night’s game.

Not to be, not this evening, friends.

With the fleeting virtue of objectivity, what we should have seen was two EXCELLENT football teams playing to their advantages for most of the game, showcasing their strengths. It was a wonderful game to watch, especially when you compare it to the garbage that the rest of the league had to endure on this much anticipated weekend of NFL football. For three hours last night, the nation was treated to a contest that was played about as well as one could have hoped. There WERE some defensive plays from both teams, but the plays of note came from the offenses. I would be amiss if I didn’t heap MOUNDS of credit on the Panther’s offensive game plan. Foxy could have taken a few more chances in the second half, but in retrospect, I would have found it foolish to stray from a scheme that WAS working! 28 points, y’all. How often do the Panthers lose when we score 28 points? How unusual is this, that the Panther offense is the strongest part of their game right now? But it is disconcerting, that the defense isn’t playing at the same level. Turkey-Vac has exactly FIVE days to get things right enough to beat the Saints on Sunday, and then, two weeks to get this “D” up to playoff caliber, or all of this good feeling comes crashing down perhaps as early as the first round! Lingering on this loss however, is counterproductive. Last year at this time, the MIGHTY New EnglandLand Pastry-Rots played an inspired Giants team at the end of the season, and beat them, but the Giants were competitive enough to stay within victory’s grasp for much of the game. Sound familiar? We were even better than that Giants team in this game. Of course, we know where the GEEMen wound up. “D”on Banks of Sports Illustrated has an enlightening online article I’d encourage you to read about the over-valued #1 seed-


Still feel badly about the overtime loss in an intensely played game with TONS of heart and effort from both teams?

Wanna look again at the Week 16 carnage from the “contenders” in the 2008 NFL Playoff sweepstakes?
The media was SOOOOOO eager to reclaim the Cowpuppies to the ranks of the elite after they dispatched the G’ints last week. Someone forgot to tell the Ravens they were supposed to be good, and they ran all over them. Dallas resembled NOTHING like a playoff team Saturday night. Arid-Zona would like to get on a hot streak going into the playoffs, right? They were BUZZARD-BREATH AWFUL against the Pastry-Rots yesterday. New EnglandLand could have played their second string and still whooped the Cardy-Noles for this game. The mighty Squeelers got smelted by the Titans in a huge statement game, and made Ben Awfulsberger look quite average. Tampa Bay was so far away from playoff shape in their bumbling loss to the Sad Diego Chargers, who are now suddenly in charge of their destiny against the miserable Broncoids, who, oh yeah, got THUMPED AT HOME against a Bills team that was DONE and without their starting running back after the first quarter! Mini-Soda fumbled away the golden opportunity to seize the Norris Division, also AT HOME, to the Duckies! A WRETCHED DeadSkin team pretty much sunk the playoff hopes of the Philthydelphia Fleeguls, when a mere McSnabb touchdown would have won it and put them solidly into wild card position. Perhaps the sweetest vindication of all for Packer executives, and anyone else in the Favre Summer Preseason Sweepstakes, was the absolute aging of Brett in the humiliation of the soon to again be J*E*T*S at Seattle, in a snowstorm that was once his natural element. This confluence of underachieving clubs makes the bumbling quartet of geeks in the Altel commercials look like Army Rangers. So, you wanna put our loss to the Giants in league with this sorry octet? Don’t tell ME about it. While I’m rather disappointed about the defensive lapse in the fourth quarter, I can almost rationalize that our defense was facing an offensive line that was as capable as ours. It was just a matter of who wore out first, and again, remember-

If the wind doesn’t put on that gust with .04 left on the clock-

This is quite a different rant.

So what’s down the road? Again, we can’t focus on this loss with a very game and motivated Saints in their dome this Sunday. “D”rew Brees is a scan 400 yards away from breaking “D”an Marino’s single season passing record, and I’m certain his teammates will be obliging. That in of itself is noble, but The Panthers have a “D”ivision to win, and THIS game friends, goes volumes as to what words THIS most important entity writes about our Panthers-


Lest the cruelest “D” of all snatch it from us-


In no way shape or form am I going to bitch about being 11-4 and on the cusp of the "D"ivision.

Unless we lose to the Saints.

Let’s keep up the passion, the faith, the energy, and yes, the “D”edication as Engineer "D"avidson gets the phaser banks recharged on the Starship Panther as we


And friends and Fanz-

Have a truly happy holiday. I’ll be back Friday with the final regular season picks.

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